Arorangi youngsters compete in tug of war. CISNOC/21060846
A determined Arorangi battled hard to reclaim the Kumete Cup after a brilliant performance in the annual competition at the National Stadium in Nikao.
Athletics Cook Islands is pleased with the spirit of
participation and competition shown by villages that competed in this year’s
Kumete Athletics Day held on Monday.
The daylong competition had a number of track and field
events for under-5s up to the masters category.
Athletics secretary Ruth Tangiiau Mave said: “Last year with
the lockdown of sports and the stadium due to the Covid-19 pandemic threats,
the traditional holding of Kumete Athletics Day on Queen’s Birthday Monday, was
held later in the month, after the lifting of restrictions.”
“People keen to get out and about flooded the stadium for a
family fun filled event of racing, jumping and throwing that saw the huge
wooden Kumete Cup leave the defending champions Arorangi hands for the first
time in some years, by a strong and gutsy performance from Avatiu.”
Mave said Arorangi came determined to regain the Cup, as was
Avatiu who went all out to defend their title.
Arorangi reclaimed the Kumete Cup after amassing 512 points
followed closely by Avatiu on 489 points. Tupapa managed third spot on 233
followed by Titikaveka (32) and Ngatangiia (20).
“The day was perfect for racing and sharing a family
tradition of being involved. Athletics
federation organisers have adapted events to include more participation events
that create fun and excitement for all ages,” Mave said.
“The under 13-year Kids Athletics circuit had under 5s up to
12 year olds, doing fun sprint starts from sitting and lying face down, to
throwing hoops over poles, mega howlers over the goal posts, hop, step jumping
and scissor jumps into the sand pits.”
Instead of limiting athletes, everyone got a participation
point and allowed inclusion of athletes from the Downs Syndrome and Autism
foundations “because winning was not the main focus for this age group”, she
The competitive events were highly contested with some new
upcoming secondary students coming close to qualifying for the New Zealand
Secondary Schools competition in December.
William Taripo Junior takes part in the long jump event. CISNOC/21060832
“The fun and laughter of new additions to the programme,
mother and daughter, father and son relay were impressive to watch with some
mama’s smoking around the bends,” Mave said.
“The medley relay of 1x 400m, 1x 300m, 1x 200m, 1x 100m took
some getting their bearings as the race starts at the 200m mark, but once
running again the mix age groups showed their flair and tenacity to compete
throughout the day.”
Both Arorangi and Avatiu had numbers and talent on their
sides and were running closely neck and neck the whole day.
In the end, it was the points from the Kumete Cycle Race
(29) held on Saturday that turned the tables and narrowly put Arorangi ahead of
Mave said: “The defenders were gracious in their handing
back of the trophy and Arorangi were appreciative and grateful to all the
volunteers and families who came to give support but also to win back the ‘log
“Congratulations go to all who competed on the day for their
village and the village managers who kept their team spirits alive during the